Best Tools and Practices for Cutting Foam Boards

There are many nice and interesting art pieces that foam board can be used to make! Widely used for craft and presentation projects, the substrate is known for its rigidity and durability that help projects last long. However, while foam boards are certainly more durable than other types of presentation and craft material, it can be a bit tricky to cut them due to the hardness of the outer layers and the foam they have in the middle. As such, you need to be careful while setting out to slice through foam board pieces as improper cutting can result in rough and unsightly edges that might make your project look unprofessional.


So you can continue to focus on the creative for your work of art, we’ve put up some best practices around cutting foam boards to help your project come out neat!

The Best way to Make Straight-Line Cuts

It is best to use a utility knife and ruler to cut straight lines through a foam board. This way, you won’t have to buy expensive, specialized tools to do the job for you. However, do ensure that the blade of the knife is sharp. You also might need to replace the blade often if you have multiple pieces of foam board to be cut. Place a metal-edged ruler that is as long as the line to be cut on the foam board and hold the ruler with a strong grip so it doesn’t wander while cutting. Hold the utility knife at a 45-degree angle from the foam board. Remember, if you hold the knife straight, the result turns out to be a ragged edge. You will also need to apply the pressure evenly while cutting across the foam board in a single continuous line. Taking abrupt pauses in between would also result in rough edges on the board.


How to Make Fine Detailed Cuts

For those working on a more complicated design or a bigger project, it is wise to utilize the many special tools made especially to cut foam boards. Such specialized tools that were particularly developed for making detailed cuts prove quite useful for teachers, architects and marketers who use foam boards often for their work projects. For instance, circles in foam boards can be cut without any difficulty by using a circle cutter. A dedicated hole cutter is used to cut holes in the foam board without getting the edges ragged. A tool for specifically creating rabbet cuts for joining foam board pieces is also available. 


Curves can be cut with a free-style cutter, which has a thinner blade than a utility knife for a cleaner cut. Alternately, a good way to cut intricate designs on a tight budget without purchasing specific foam-board cutting tools is using standard wood-working tools with a fine-toothed blade. Hand tools such as a coping saw, are also good for making intricate cuts. A scroll saw, on the other hand, can also be used for cutting foam board. It is important, however, to ensure use of the finest blades available for the tool to achieve the best results, and buying tools designed specifically to cut foam board is the best choice.

A Good Way to Make Neat Geometric-Shape Cuts 

The best way to develop geometric designs from foam boards such as letters and shapes is by employing a die-cutting tool. Such tools are available in a variety of sizes suited for specific needs. A typical die-cutting tool will create consistent geometrically shaped designs by using the same die for each piece.

Foamboardsource is an online store dedicated to providing high-quality foam boards in limitless variety and sizes as well as all the necessary tools used for cutting and designing them. These are available at affordable prices at www.foamboardsource.com.

Foam Boards for Craft Projects: Components, Uses, and Handling

Foam boards are popular not only for their extensive use in commercial purposes but also for their domestic applications. The material can easily be formed into shapes and structures that are then used for design areas such as interior design and architectural models. 

Components that make a foam board  


Commonly known as foam core, foam boards are made using a lightweight material which is easy to cut and is commonly used for purposes such as mounting of prints and photographs and as backing in picture frames.
foam board ussed for pictures

The structure of this substrate is made with sturdy layers ideally consisting of three layers, an inner layer of polystyrene or polyurethane foam which is neatly placed between two layers of semi-gloss and bleached white clay coated paper. To make it all the more suited to high-end conservation framing, a further block of cotton rag boards or alpha-cellulose boards should be placed between the foam board and the actual artwork. 

Use in Picture Framing and as backing material


Foam boards have become quite popular nowadays as an acceptable material for backing picture frames, with archival-quality variants now provided by several manufacturers. The substrate is quite effective for use in die cutting, mounting, screen printing, and framing and is available in various sizes for to meet specific requirements.


Many types of foam boards are available including FomeCor, Acid-Free foam bard, self-adhesive foam board and many other varieties. Foam boards are also available in self-adhesive, also known as pressure sensitive or heat-activated coatings, which will make it convenient for you to mount a photo or art piece  quite easy. 

SEE ALSO: Why PVC Foam Boards are the Best

  

Use of adhesives


There are some foam boards such as clay-coated foamcore that do not accept certain types of paint and some glues such as superglue, which is not suitable for bonding. Picking such products for binding particular foam boards should be avoided as solvents used in some paints and glues can dissolve the foam center causing weakness and breakdown of the structural integrity of the foamboard. In the outer layers, the fibers can be warped by the use of water-based glues once it has dried. However, this problem can be countered by adhering a coat to the reverse side. What works best is if double-sided adhesive sheets are used or pre-coated self-adhesive foamboard is picked, when you want your prints and photographs to be to dry mounted.

Self adhevise foam board

After finishing the mounting process for your photograph or print onto self-adhesive foamboard, it is important to make sure that you allow it to sit for some time. During this time, place your mounted work on a flat surface so as to avoid any warping related problems that you might encounter. For temporary mounting applications, it is wise if you employ a plain foam board and then apply re-positionable spray adhesive onto it, either on the back of the image or the front side of the board.

Foam boards are great for the above mentioned uses and offer greater scope for craft projects because of their sturdiness and durability.